Beware the 5 day insurance database update!

The message to note here is take care to renew your insurance cover at least a clear 7 days ahead of the expiry date of your current insurance cover.

Motor Insurance Database (MID) is the only central record of all insured vehicles in the UK and is one of the most important tools to ensure that only insured vehicles are driven on our roads. The MID is used by the police and the DVLA to enforce motor insurance law.
The police use Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology with information from the MID to identify and catch people driving uninsured vehicles. More than 500 are seized every day and one person every three minutes is convicted for uninsured driving. The MID is also systematically compared with the DVLA’s registered keeper records to identify uninsured vehicles from the record. Just like the DVLA, you can check your vehicle is appearing on the MID for free. More

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Updated: 140519
Posted: 140518

The police now use automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) equipment to identify uninsured drivers. That is highly desirable that the scourge of uninsured drivers is being tackled with vigour with the advantage of near instant online checks with the ANPR equipment with the motor insurance database which holds the insurance records for all cars insured to be on UK public roads. In a case featured in the Points column in the Driving supplement of today's issue of the Sunday Times, the driver was stopped on the M3 by patrol officers whose ANPR equipment told them the driver's car had no insurance. The driver said "in fact I had renewed my policy four days earlier. However it turns out the motor insurance database can take five days to process a routine renewal, yet police act on a "DVLA alert" that a car has no record of current insurance cover. It all had very serious consequences for me and for my family as my car was impounded and I was treated as a criminal. This experience has left me feeling that the long-looming police state has - well loomed!"

The message to note here is take care to renew your insurance cover at least a clear 7 days ahead of the expiry date or your current insurance cover to make sure you do not suffer a similar experience!

Insurance database is not instantly updated
Unfortunately some police officers think the MID is instantly updated, but of course it is not. Provided they stop a driver within office hours, in a case like this the officer should contact MID who should speak to the insurance company who would be able to confirm that the policy had in fact been renewed or initiated.

Carry the motor insurance certificate with you if you have renewed your cover recently
Chris Hunt Cooke feels if you are renewing a policy within a week of expiry or during the first week of a new policy it would be wise to carry the insurance certificate with you, which would provide some evidence that you have a recently renewed or been issued with a policy. In order to seize a vehicle a police officer needs to have reasonable suspicion that it is uninsured, if you explain that it may not yet show up on MID because it is recently renewed or issued and have a certificate as evidence of that, it should prevent seizure of the vehicle, or assist in recovering the costs incurred from the police if it is seized. Note that you cannot recover these costs if the officer did have reasonable suspicion, even if it is later shown that the vehicle was in fact insured.

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